A recent survey conducted by Disability Horizons has found that nearly 60% of disabled and chronically ill people feel really anxious about the easing of lockdown restrictions, and 49% feel the same about the changes to the shielding guidelines.

As the lockdown restrictions begin to lift in all four nations, their is an understandable sense of unease and worry from those at a higher risk of infection. With restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and beauty salons opening for business and workforces being encouraged back to their normal places of work, it is a worrying time for many, especially those who have been shielding. The decisions to lift restrictions are being questioned in some places as local flare-ups are being reported and local lockdowns are ensuing.

These reports do not exactly instil confidence for those who are at a higher risk of infection.

Disability Horizons spoke to 267 disabled people and those with health conditions, as well as people living with someone who is disabled or chronically unwell.

  • 58% feel really anxious about the easing of lockdown restrictions 
  • 49% feel really anxious about the changes to shielding guidelines.

83% of people who participated in the survey live in England, where the highest number of restrictions have been lifted in the UK so far.

One respondent commented: “I don’t understand how the advice has changed when the situation has not been resolved. No vaccine has yet been found, there is no medication to deal with the virus and the fact that we are having local flare-ups is a sign that it has not gone away.”

Specific concerns included:

  • the changes being “too much too soon”
  • people who have been shielding being forced back to work
  • the government stopping its help with medication and food
  • other people not adhering to social distancing rules.

One participant said: “It feels like the support is being removed too quickly without a proper structure. It will become very tricky for some people to cope with day-to-day life without having to go out.” 

Some more optimistic results 

  • 37% and 44% of people say they feel fairly happy but a little apprehensive about the changes to lockdown and shielding 
  • Just 3% (9 people) and 6% (17 people) said they are happy with the changes to lockdown and shielding.   

You can read the full results of the Disability Horizons survey here, as well as additional comments and real-life stories from people affected by the pandemic.

Image by Brian Merrill from Pixabay 

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